Midsummer online festival hailed a “success”

Published: 1 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Sonia Sabri Company which took part in the Midsummer Festival Credit: Simon Richardson

Thousands of arts and culture lovers tuned in online to Midsummer Festival, a free one-day festival celebrating arts and culture in the West Midlands.

There were more than 12 hours of performances from 33 companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, IKON Gallery, Ex Cathedra, Birmingham Opera Company and Keneish Dance.

Organised by the West Midlands Culture Response Unit, Midsummer Festival drew audiences from more than 50 countries including the USA, Brazil, Australia and Barbados.

Erica Love from WMCRU said, “we’re thrilled with the success of Midsummer Festival. To have so many West Midlands arts organisations come together at what is such a devastating time for the sector is really uplifting.

“We wanted this event to be a collaboration and that’s exactly what it was. We had large and small organisations, rural and urban, covering a wide range of artistic genres really showcasing what this region has to offer.

“The feedback we’ve received from audience members has been fantastic and just reiterates how much people miss the arts during this time.”

More than £650 was donated on the day to the Freedom Fund for Black Artists in the West Midlands. It will be used to respond to black artists’ individual self-identified immediate needs.